Malawi - Private Collection
Today, another head by a different artist. Kungoni carvers have left Malawi to find work as far afield as Norway and South Africa. On his arrival in Cape Town Friday Jibu, who is the son of Jibu Sani, one of the longest standing of all Kungoni carvers, developed a style that has no parallel elsewhere in Kungoni: precisely rendered and anatomically exact representations of skulls and bones, human and animal, together with carvings of plants and seed pods that would not be out of place, say, amidst the teaching aids of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson's museum at the University of Dundee. His preferred timber for this work is malaina, which is a distinctive light wood of almost white appearance.
As a young man Friday Jibu was responsible for a study set of miniature Gule Wamkulu characters, which are placed now in the Art Gallery and Library of Kungoni Centre. This human skull introduces a theme that will recur throughout this collection: the endless capacity of Malawi artists to innovate.
Artist: Friday Jibu
Title: Human Skull
Themes: Human Body, Mortality